Our mission at Coding House is to provide a viable alternative to higher education; one that does not result in crippling debt and teaches the real world skills necessary to get a job - in a fraction of the time.
We recognize that our program may not be for everyone. Periodically, a student may decide to leave or will be asked to leave. We work hard to separate amicably and to support that student with a hassle-free, dignified exit as we did in this instance.
This student (in our first cohort ever) was unable to successfully complete the program due to a number of reasons. About half of these were our fault and we have taken full responsibility to ensure we don't repeat those same mistakes. The other half were a result of the student's actions (or inactions) that ultimately contributed to an unsuccessful outcome.
We have since held more than ten cohorts with over 85 students. All but a handful of them got high paying jobs after completing our program. We have also modified our price structure from $15,000 upfront (what's known as the pay and pray method) to 18% of their first year's salary (with a down payment).
We don’t break even until our students get a job. Because of this, we assume the majority of the risk for our students (skin in the game). This guarantees an incentive for us to do everything in our power to make sure our students are technically competent and able to articulate well in a job interview, and that we will help them get a great job so we can get paid as well.
- Nick James, CEO The Coding House Institute
(Not an opinion about the subject.)
I am sorry. :( 90% of these coding schools need to go. I thought my private school was bad.
Also, there are plenty of free sources for education. Definitely enough to get you started building your own applications. Hell, ever pluralsight is a better bargain.
Having talked with my friends who are working now, there are definitely things a/A doesn't teach you much about (e.g. deployment/devops, advanced Git) but on the whole we all feel like we learned more than enough to prepare ourselves for working in software development. I've heard very good things about Hack Reactor as well, though they expect you to come in with some coding experience already.
So yes, there are good/great ones out there, but I'd agree that your bullshit detector should be set very high if you're looking into bootcamps.
I've heard very good things about Hack Reactor as well
They claim to be "The CS degree for the 21st century" which is simply not true for an intensive web development course.
That said, one weird thing I've heard about Hack Reactor is that they purposely will hold back students they feel aren't 100% where they want them to be and keep them from graduating. Whether that's out of genuine concern for students or it's just to inflate their job placement numbers (or both), I couldn't tell you.
2013 Hack Reactor grad here. I had actually heard this about Dev Bootcamp before applying to HR, so I asked the HR founders during my interviews if they did this and they emphatically said no. Their genuine emphasis on supporting students -- including intensive interventions when they detect students might be falling behind -- was the main reason I decided to fork over $17k to a couple of strangers and move across the country to San Francisco.
And they didn't disappoint me. Our cohort of 26 had two drop-outs: one guy on the second day (he was from Atlanta, felt a little out of place and wanted to go home, so he became the first person to take HR up on their "full refund if for any reason you want to quit during the first week" offer) and a girl almost midway through the course (she got intensive support, we were all really rallying for her, but she didn't want to keep going). Everyone else pulled together, worked long hours, built some incredible projects, and landed jobs at lots of Companies You've Heard Of. But don't take my word for it... check out the [Hack Reactor alumni page](http://www.hackreactor.com/students/) and see for yourself.
I don't know a single student who has been held back, although I graduated nearly two years ago and my experience may be outdated.
Huh, interesting. I knew DBC does that too but they seemed much more upfront about it in their ad copy (and in fact it was touted as a selling point). FWIW, a/A sounds similar to HR by how you describe it; they want everyone to succeed and will give you plenty of support but if you still aren't pulling your weight you'll get booted. There was a guy in our cohort who dropped right before final projects and they let him come back at the same point in the next cycle but they made an exception for him because he had personal reasons for dropping.
But yeah, besides that, great learning environment, everyone wants everyone else to do well, build cool shit and get good jobs. I'd recommend a/A in a heartbeat to anyone, with the caveat that you've done enough programming to know it's something you enjoy doing. (But the amount of Ruby you have to learn to get through the admission process successfully is a pretty decent litmus test.)
Without being too arrogant, most CS graduates can barely code. And realistically that's what most of us either do or should do all day long.
But until this article, I had never thought much about bootcamps requiring accreditation, or the dangers of this type of training. Yikes!!
Thanks very much to the author for sharing this experience.
Something to think about is when my father was still alive and retired/contracting he charged about $200/hr for very specialized database work in a very specific financial field. I've heard thats not totally out of line today. Anyway my point is some of these bootcamps cost $16K and for $16K you could hire "most specialized programming consultants" for 1:1 time for a rather amazing 80 hours. Obviously you'd be better off with a modest amount of hours across many consultants unless you've already found a specialty or someone you work very well with.
Now most tutors aren't going to charge $200/hr for some easy noob questions, then again the middleman (and they'll be middlemen) are going to want an unacceptably large cut.
Its just something to think about, throwing out the advice, that if you've got questions and $16K burning a hole in your pocket there's already a strong and established ecosystem of consultants willing to take your dough in exchange for some answers.
As a point of comparison, music teachers and flight instructors don't really make that much per hour, although much like programming the pros at the top of those fields do clear $100K/yr.
It seems like a rational alternative.
You have to take CS1 your first semester, then CS2 your second semester, and then you finally have the prerequisites to take multiple classes at once.
Coding bootcamps have a semester's worth of material, so it would be cool if colleges had a one-semester full-time class that covers Intro CS, Data Structures, Web Development, and Intro to Software Engineering.
Because that basically is a coding bootcamp (except coding bootcamps have class all day in lieu of giving out homework).
With all that said, I have my own also not positive opinions about the proliferation of these schools and how they affect the industry as a whole. I just think that there is a fair-ish tradeoff (granted one picks the right "school").
- Maybe the bottom 20% should go and that is natural selection.
- The is a huge shortage of devs.
- Most colleges are not doing a good job creating dev's (their are about 100 who do).
- You can learn everything we teach on your own for free (near free).
- btw Plursight is great if you are a JR Dev not if you don't know shit.
- Boot camps expedite the process by 4x to 12x the amount of time it would take.
- You will not become an expert or an intermediate dev at any boot camp. You will still be green.
- In a boot camp you will learn between 2-4% of what you need to know about coding.
- You will earn the rest over 20-30 years.
- Thus we focus on teaching people how to be self relent. So the can pick up a new language, framework, how to FIX bugs, TDD, merging, working in groups. The process that one can apply to most anything they need to do down the road.
If the high salaries for developers were due to a training-insufficiency-based shortage of qualified devs, the natural market for training programs would be hiring firms, not would-be devs.
The reason the market is would-be devs is because, insofar as there is a shortage, its a talent-and-inclination-based shortage, but you can sell it to would-be devs as a training-based shortage that they are taking advantage of by buying into your program.
> You can learn everything we teach on your own for free (near free).
Then why does anyone need you?
> Boot camps expedite the process by 4x to 12x the amount of time it would take.
Where does this quantification come from?
If Groucho Marx were alive, he'd say "I refuse to join any club that would care about my Klout score"
Besides all of what OP posted in terms of Coding House being a joke, another sign would be that such questions had to be asked and put into a Google form...all of those metrics could have been automated in their collection. In fact, that should be one of the assignments for any proper coding school.
No, he wouldn't. His original line was self-deprecating, yours is self-aggrandizing.
The whole bootcamp movement smells of opportunists cashing in on the naive and uninformed.
There's probably a real utility to vocationally-focused coding schools; OTOH, there's also quite a lot of opportunity for those who are sharp salesmen without a lot of training or technical acumen to take fleece the naïve who are aware of the high pay in the industry and aren't equipped to evaluate the quality of the institutions.
Unregulated, unaccredited educational programs (heck, even with regulated, accredited programs, less-than-stellar programs of this type are still a problem, though there are more checks and balances to identify and weed them out) promising to get people into highly-paying careers have always been a problem.
I suggested two Atlanta-area code schools, both of whom have been around several years and are well-connected with the development community. The problem with a code school is the same reason why there's a market for code schools at all. The market for talent is so hot that the people you want to be instructors can make way more money elsewhere than you could ever pay them. So you should know you're signing up for sub-standard instruction even before you start looking for one.
I still think my friend would be well-served at one of these spots, I've offered to help him out, but he's just too busy, he needs a situation that will force him to focus that has people on hand to help him cut through the noise. Then his natural intelligence will start coming through and he'll be able to make progress on learning.
Code school is an option, but you still really need to be resourceful and able to pick stuff up on your own because your instructor is pretty much guaranteed to be of the amateur-hobbyist variety.
I don't think this is a fair assessment, especially at the more established code schools.
For one, the instructors are probably making more than you think they are, so the difference between what they could get for a full-time gig and what they could get as instructors likely isn't that differently.
You also need a very special skill set to be an instructor at these kind of schools. You need to know the code very well, but you also need to be a good instructor which is a completely different skill set (communication, patience, understanding of how and when to introduce concepts). A vast bulk of the talent at the very top end you're referring to who would be completely unaffordable for the coding schools may not have that second component.
But, you're right in your suggestion that you choose a good school. The number of code schools, in my opinion, has become far too crowded and I expect that within the year we'll start to see most of the schools either go under or merge.
(As a disclaimer, I (until recently) worked at General Assembly which runs coding schools in several cities, but I don't speak for them and I never worked directly on the Web Development Immersive program during my time at GA, though I did take it and was happy with the outcome.)
(oh btw a disclaimer at the bottom of a post like oh I may be biased or still work there but....)
I am a founder at Coding House.
We have the instructor (co founder) who wrote the RoR curriculum for General Assembly 3.5 years ago (that they still uses to date) and was there lead instructor. He also wrote the curriculum for Nashville Software School, and Flat Iron School. That they all still uses!
There is not an instructor out there that has more experiences.
Was this review by Jose written under duress or legally compelled somehow?
It is written by the OP, but it is quite positive and recommends the experience from Coding House. It was written in April 2015. The article was from September 2014.
Something is off here...
edit: Keep reading that Quora thread. In one of the hidden responses (hidden because it really isn't a review), it mentions the source of the OP, which has apparently been removed since its original posting: http://joselcontreras.com/about-coding-house/
Looks like the OP was removed under legal threat (read the end of the PDF), but not before somebody saved it to their Google drive.
But it seems like it was geared toward people who already had a handle on programming. This, along with inflated marketing promises (welcome to the business world) is where things collapsed.
These are fixable problems. First, time should be split between instruction on concrete beginner level topics and the project. Preferably relevant to the task they will be tackling in the project itself. The instructor should be very well versed in the technologies at least so far as the previously solved project the students build is concerned. The project itself and the steps needed to accomplish the project should be very well understood. The instructor should have a step by step guide from start to finish. This would take doing the project from scratch a few times using the notes from the previous one as a guide. That guide shouldn't be shared with the developers but it should serve as a reference to get them unstuck after beating their head against Google and Stack Overflow.
And, of course, you shouldn't make promises of employment that you can't keep.
Now, those seem to be very core problems but I do see the logic behind a lot of the rest. Exercise is important to work into your routine. Networking is important. Learning to solve your own problems is important. Working with others is important. Doing promo photoshoots and locking your laptop? Not so much.
I can see why this person would want their money back and if I were Coding House I'd pay it, but I don't think everything is as damning as this letter makes out. With some serious tweaks it is recoverable. I think their heart was likely in the right place.
For complete transparency I graduated college with a business degree, worked in the software industry (project management/account management side) for 5+ years, and completed multiple online certifications for various programming languages. I am telling you this not to brag (because this experience doesn’t mean shit) but to demonstrate these programs can benefit individuals who have a solid work/education background, as well as those wanting to make a career change.
Prior to Coding House I was making roughly $50,000. I was teaching myself programming on the side on platforms such as Pluralsight, Codecademy, and Code School. I also took took three classes at O’Reilly School of Tech. I can say from personal experience NO ONE can become a Jr. Developer in a reasonable time using these resources. These platforms teach you programming in a kiddie pool environment far away from real world environments. Try developing a production ready application after completing those courses - it isn’t possible for 99% of people. You don’t have professionals showing you the ropes of Version Control Systems, framework architecture, Test Driven Development, Design Driven Development, development tools, deployments to AWS, Digital Ocean, Heroku, and API integrations. Anyone who is claiming someone can make the transition with only using these educational resources is clearly uneducated on software development. Those individuals are so far disconnected from reality its laughable.
Making a transition into software development is far more complicated than taking a few free courses online. Programs such as Coding House (and several others) prepare their “students” for real world application development. Bootcamps are extremely intense and mentally exhausting. You have to be resilient and willing to make a million mistakes. Yes the reward can be great on the other side (great pay and work) but you have to be honest with yourself prior to attending a camp. 2 months is a short time for anything. You have to put in countless hours before and after the program. Nothing is going to be handed to you. Welcome to life - mommy and daddy will not be there to hold your hand. These camps provide a huge stepping stone that modern Computer Science programs are not providing. I am not saying CS programs are not worth time + investment because I have never attended such a program. CS programs and bootcamps are different on so many levels and have different goals.
My Accomplishments at Coding House:
-Accepted employment offer one month after program was complete
-Won 1st place at Launch 215 Hackathon building an application with Sabre Cord API
-Invited to speak with the CEO of Codecademy based on a blog post I wrote.
-Interviewed at PayPal and Apple and completed all final rounds of the interview process (and I turned all those offers down)
-Developed a mobile application that allows anyone to scan a barcode of a food product and know instantly if they are allergic to any ingredients.
Prior to coding house these accomplishments were not within my reach. I can honestly say I accomplished more in 2 months than would have been possible in a 18 month timeframe on my own. My money and time was well worth the investment.
What makes Coding House successful:
-Extensive pre-work prior to attending. I spent well over 200 hours or more dedicated to preparing myself for the program.
-One of the best damn instructors the industry has to offer. I have worked with very talented developers throughout my career and this instructor is top notch. He can teach, coach, challenge, and push you to your limits.
-No others worries but coding and collaborating with other students
-Application based learning with a solid portfolio to display at the end of the program
So what does this mean? Bootcamps are what you make of them. Are they perfect? No. But they can help propel you in many different directions for your career. Anything worth pursuing is difficult and a lot of people will fail achieving it. I swam for 4 years as a NCAA Division I athlete (again -this isn’t too brag). 20 of us started as Freshman, and 4 of us completed our Senior year. Why? Because it was hard and demanding. Bootcamps are the same. They are hard and require 110% dedication to achieving your goals. The weak will fail and blame everyone around them for it. Those people are everywhere and it’s sad they can’t take ownership for their own failures. The tough will succeed and continue to push the limits of education and software development.
I am one of the founders at Coding House. Let me provide some insight on the post from last year.
1) 50% of the the post is true and my fault
2) 50% is untrue and students fault
3) It was our very first cohort and we had a lot to learn about what worked and did not work
4) The student has been refunded
5) We wanted to make it like a real boot camp and that was to hard on some of the students
6) We have fantastic instructors you can find there bio's on our site
7) We have change our policies to insure it dose not happen again
8) Look up all the reviews of Coding House and you will find we have great outcomes and satisfied students
Don't list those companies as "partners" if they just allowed you to tour their offices one day, unless your intent is to receive a C&D from Google.
Your spelling, grammar, and punctuation are terrible considering this thread will probably end your viability as a business.
This statement does little to make me feel any better about Coding House.
We take 100% responsibility for taking a student in our first cohort over 1 year ago; who was not prepared, did not do the work in or after the program.
We have learned from our mistake.
We now have extensive per work, coding challenges (gates on all phases) and accept only 3.16% of the students that apply.
PS: Hi Josh!
Another coding bootcamp called "Hack Reactor" is claiming to be "The CS degree for the 21st century" on the front page and on another page they write "Become a Software Engineer".
Because that's how they justify the prices they are charging?
> 2) 50% is untrue and students fault
In each case, which 50% do you see in that category, and what have you done/are you doing about the first 50%.
To come over for a workshop we have a few coming up on Saturdays.
See for your self.